Date of Award

Summer 2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Education (MSEd)


Human Movement Sciences


Physical Education -- Curriculum and Instruction

Committee Director

Linda M. Gagen

Committee Member

Elizabeth Dowling

Committee Member

Lynn Ridinger


Learning to juggle is difficult for elementary school students; it involves eye-hand coordination and complex movement patterns. Recognizing and using color for figure- and-ground visual perception is a necessary skill for tracking moving objects to catch them effectively. Can juggling instruction be influenced by the color of the juggling object used? Is one color more effective than another or does a combination of three different colors provide the most effective equipment choice?

Children in third, fourth, and fifth grade physical education classes were randomly assigned to color choices for juggling objects in a month-long unit of juggling instruction. The choices, all white, all brown, all blue, and a combination of white, brown, and blue, were used by each designated class consistently for the instruction, practice and assessment lessons. Other variables included age, grade, and gender of the children.

Each juggling lesson lasted between 10-12 minutes and instruction given was identical regardless of object color. The final assessment of juggling was done by counting the total number of consecutive catches achieved over three trials. No significant differences were noted due to grade or gender. Significant color differences were noted, with all white having the lowest mean for total catches, which was significantly different from the other three color choices. The means for mixed colors and all brown were slightly less than the mean for all although those differences were not statistically significant. Since the upper portions of the gymnasium walls are white, it was concluded that those objects that did not blend with the wall color were more effective in allowing consecutive catching.


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